Art Crawl with Anna

Walter De Marias Earth Room.

Anna Clevenger

Walter De Maria’s ‘Earth Room.’

Every year, as the weather becomes warmer, the city becomes crowded with tourists. Museums, especially those with free admission, are crammed with out of state visitors, seemingly making it impossible for New York City students to explore art. However, there are many art exhibits outside of museums, with free admission and no tourists.

The ‘New York Earth Room’ is one such place that provides a quiet haven, an alternative to traditional art exhibits. Created by Walter De Maria in 1977, the ‘Earth Room’ is a 3600 square-foot gallery space in SoHo – filled entirely with dirt (22 inches deep, to be exact). With free admission, it provides a calm sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city below.

For those who prefer galleries that are free of dirt, De Maria has created other sculptures around the city. Most notably, his ‘Broken Kilometer’, installed only a few blocks away from the ‘Earth Room’ in SoHo, showcases 500 metal rods which, when lined up, measure one length in kilometer.

Academically inclined students might enjoy art installations that relate to lessons learned in school. Multiple sections of the Berlin Wall, located in different parts of New York City, relate modern art with lessons of the Cold War that students discussed in their history classes. Much of the Berlin Wall was dismantled into small pieces when it was torn down, but large sections of it are strewn around Manhattan, including a twenty foot section on Madison Avenue in Midtown. The piece depicts faces in anguish, on the West side of the wall, painted by Thierry Noir and Kiddy Citny in the 1980s. Other pieces can be seen in Battery Park City, and at the United Nations

“It provides a calm sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city below.”

Free sculptures are not an uncommon sight in New York City. Whether it is a new installation in Rockefeller Center, or the eponymous statue in Columbus Circle, there are dozens to see.

The Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens is no exception. The park, which spans five acres, has everything from sculpture workshops to yoga lessons, all of which one can do while surrounded by beautiful sculptures and greenery. Free art in New York City is not just limited to pay-what-you-wish museums; there are infinite unconventional things to see. So instead of spending second term wasting away inside, check out the offbeat art that NYC has to offer.